At the start of this week, it was revealed that former Donald Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos had cut a deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. That’s not what should scare Trump the most. If Trump has enough marbles left to even understand what’s going on at this point, he’s truly scared because he’s figured out that Papadopoulos isn’t the only one.
Mueller had the FBI arrest Papadopoulos all the way back in June. That means Mueller was able to pull off an indictment, secret arrest, guilty plea, detailed confession, release, and ongoing cooperation in exchange for a minimal sentence – although without any of it becoming public until he chose to announce it this week. Furthermore, Mueller only revealed the Papadopoulos deal because it was strategically aligned with Paul Manafort’s arrest.
More importantly, the Papadopoulos deal only gives Mueller a finite number of avenues for flipping people higher up the food chain. The confession allows Mueller to seek deals with Manafort, Sam Clovis, and Jeff Sessions – but those are only three names out of several key players. Mueller can’t use Papadopoulos to get to Michael Flynn, or Jared Kushner, or Donald Trump Jr, or any of a number of other people. Instead he needs to flip other small fish in order to move on them – and we know that in at least one instance, he already has.
Last Friday, former CIA Director James Woolsey revealed to the media that he’s been cooperating with Robert Mueller in the criminal case against Michael Flynn. The story was then buried a few hours later when it surfaced that arrests were imminent. But it’s clear that Woolsey – who was a bit player in the Trump campaign – has either formally or informally cut a deal with Mueller. It probably doesn’t stop at Woolsey, either. Mueller has surely already flipped small fish under each of the key players, and he’s keeping it all under wraps until it’s time for the arrest of those key players.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report